It takes time and brain power to go through all the fascinating posts above, hence I am just picking up a few illuminating points from the most recent post on this topic.
Mythistorian, thank you Thank you for your illuminating piece, quoting Marx,
“It is just as Marx put it in a wonderfully psychological way (a quote that has been ringing in my ears for the last few days):
“Just as our opinion of an individual is not based on what he thinks of himself, so can we not judge of such a period of transformation by its own consciousness; on the contrary, this consciousness must be explained rather from the contradictions of material life, from the existing conflict between the social productive forces and the relations of production.” (Preface of A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy)”
So Marx is saying that our opinion of ourselves is different from the opinions of others, because the opinions of others (the collective) is shaped by the forces (means) of production ? I find it very true, because that is how huge profits are made, by shaping the views of the collective for or against, however, the opposite is also true, that is, our opinion of ourselves (sometimes) is shaped by how people react to us, look at us, place us in categories that are based on their personal prejudices. We act and react to what is said about us. It’s just natural. What do you think?